Viral clip of young girl buckling under heavy school bag demystified
A young girl captured in a viral TikTok clip stumbling because of her heavy school bag was not carrying her textbooks, her teacher and her mother insisted on Wednesday.
The clip was posted by a TikTok user named “Teerayutjayjak” on Tuesday. It was viewed more than 9.7 million times before the end of the day and has been widely shared on social media, leading to harsh criticism against her school and the Thai education system.
The clip showed the girl, at a road corner in a southern province, desperately attempting to place the school bag’s straps over her shoulders. The frail-looking girl could not do it while standing because the bag was apparently too heavy.
She eventually sat down and succeeded in placing the straps on her shoulders but then couldn’t stand back up because of the bulky load.
She eventually gave up.
She decided to drag the bag along instead of carrying it on her shoulders.
While the girl was struggling to carry her bag, the man who shot the clip was heard giggling with his friend and saying they should wait and see how the girl deals with the situation. But his friend could not stand it anymore. He crossed the road to the girl and helped lift the bag’s straps onto her shoulders. The girl subsequently stumbled away, leaning forward under the sheer weight of the bag.
Netizens tried to find out why the school bag was too heavy for a young schoolgirl and where the incident happened.
It was later learned that she is a 7-year-old first-grader of a school in Moo 2 village in Tambon Lagnu, Satun’s Langu district.
Her teacher, who asked not to be named, told reporters she felt sorry for the girl when she saw the clip, adding that the 7-year-old is a strong kid and normally helps with family errands.
She said the school had classes until midday on Tuesday and children were supposed to wait for parents to pick them up because each would have to carry along a big box of milk cartons home.
However, the girl might have been too excited to receive the entire box of milk because she put it inside her bag and walked out without waiting for her mother to pick her up as usual.
Her mother, who identified herself only as Suchada, confirmed that the heavy bag held an entire box of milk cartons, not school books as claimed by social networkers. The hefty box contained 36 cartons inside and there were only four thin, light books, the mother added.
She also said the school was one kilometre away from her house and she normally rode her motorcycle to pick the girl up.
When she arrived at the school this time round, she found her daughter had already left. She later caught up with the girl midway and, unseen by the clip, rode her back home, she added.